The semester is winding down, which means its's time for the last tests, last assignments, last ditch efforts before final exams.
I am also editing like crazy. I received the ARC for the first book of the Camellia series, Wild Rosegarten. I finished going over that while also trying to get through a first round edit on the second book in the series.
Editing books and editing tests. If 24 of Ms. Birdwell's students like reading and 6 do not, what is the ratio of the number of vampires Camellia has killed to the number of men she has slept with? Makes the head spin.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
If we had been lovers, I would’ve been a cliché – alone, lonely, the dinner I cooked for us cooling on the table. When you said you would come, I picked flowers from my garden. My heirloom and confederate roses, the tiny purple blooms on the monkey grass, Gerber daisies, and day lilies I arranged in a Mason jar. Aphids on the rose petals. You didn’t show. You didn’t call, but I didn’t worry. You have always been flaky, flighty. I knew better than to trust, than to depend on you, but I let myself hope. That’s what I get for loving you.
I wrote to you, many times – offering help when it wasn’t requested or welcomed. Me being me, I couldn’t help but do it, and you, being you, couldn’t help but spew bile at me. I cried for you, wasted tears. You love your sadness too much, your protection from others. I want you to experience joy, and you refuse. My heart breaks, over and over, for you, and you’ll never give a damn.
It began as friendly arguing, batting bad philosophy back-and-forth. What is real? What is love? What are we but a man and a woman, matter, anything that has mass and takes up space? Elementary. I had dreams of silver eagles that gutted and devoured nations. You liked that. You liked me until you didn’t. You told me you’d heard enough from me for a while, to run along and play with someone else. A true verbal slap and I hit back until whatever we were was irreparable. Are you still a zombie, little bird? Did you finally find someone to breathe life into you?
I wanted the best for you, and I wanted you. For years, more than anything. You told me that I was the type of woman a man falls in love with, and that was not the type of woman for you. I used that in a story I wrote. I could kiss you for hours and did a few times, always swallowed whole by your eyes. Because of you, I keep my eyes open. After, I used to catch you watching me, your eyes darting away from mine, like two north poles, repellant. There were times I would’ve done anything for you. I would’ve strayed for you, away from what I knew, from a life and a man that were comfortable. You knew that, and that you didn’t take advantage showed me you were a good man. So many times, I wished that you weren’t.
I would trade with you if I could, but I wouldn’t do this for you. It’s too hard, too painful. Maybe you would change your mind if you knew, but you don’t talk to me. We’re strangers now. It was just too much, I guess. I should try harder, but I’m just so damned tired. So tired.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
The summer before I turned 17, my family flew to Vegas. I glued my face to the window of our rental car all the way from the airport to Bally’s. I had never seen anything so marvelous and gaudy and utterly sinful. I fell instantly in love.
I followed my parents from casino to casino, jaw dropped, eyes popped. I had never been crammed in amongst so many people. This trip occurred before Vegas tried to make anything family-friendly, so there was nothing much for a sixteen year old to do, legally. Yet, I was never bored. I was in awe, stupefied, entranced. The day was one long adrenaline rush, and I shivered from it.
That night, I stood at the picture window of the room I shared with my brother. I watched the traffic, both foot and vehicular. Synchronized floods of people in the scorching heat of July.
I wrote poetry about the city, about how the air was so dry that all tires squealed, how someone was always at my father’s elbow with a drink, how the lights of the Flamingo flashed in my brother’s dark, stoned eyes. I hadn’t felt so alone and yet not alone since New Years in New Orleans, but this was different. It felt good.
We left Vegas the next morning.
Five nights later, I stood outside a cabin at Grand Canyon Village, stared into the sky, and beheld a near-record meteor shower. The lights in all the cabins and buildings were off, so it was utterly dark. I stood there, holding my mother’s hand like the child I no longer believed I was, and I made wishes because that’s what you do when you see shooting stars.
I felt so completely connected with everything around me, even more so than looking over the rim of the canyon and feeling like I could catch a warm updraft in my over-sized T-shirt and hover like the eagles and condors. I felt like I could fall forever, into the canyon or into the sky. I felt like I belonged, that even though I was a tiny nothing on a tiny nothing planet, I existed and was loved. I stood there for over an hour, with my finger pointed at the sky, and cried, and I don’t cry. It wasn't until I met Fluffy that I felt so utterly alive again.